- Where and When do you worship?
Our Service of Worship is each Sunday morning at 10:00. Temporarily we are worshipping in the chapel of Steinman Hall at Moravian Manor (300 West Lemon Street in Lititz, PA). Afterward, please join us for food and fellowship in the adjacent Zinzendorf Room.
- Why do you worship at Moravian Manor?
Our congregation feels called to establish an Adult Day Services (ADS) Center. At our ADS, we will care for adults 60 years and over who, due to beginning dementia, can no longer be left home alone while the family is at work, school, shopping, etc. As we secure a new location for this mission work and prepare the site, Moravian Manor has graciously offered us a temporary place to worship for which we are very appreciative. We hope to be in our new location by the end of 2014.
- What about Sunday School?
Fall through Spring, our adult Christian education class meets each Sunday at 8:45 am in the Saal at Moravian Manor. During the worship service on the first and third Sundays, Children’s Sunday School meets in the Saal just across the hall from the Chapel.
- When is your Christmas Eve service?
Our Christmas Eve Candlelight service with Lovefeast (see #8 below) is held at 6:00 pm. All are welcome and invited. Tickets are not required.
- Who are the Moravians?
Moravians are members of the oldest existing Protestant denomination, also known as the Unity of the Brethren, formed over 550 years ago. Our denomination grew out of the reform movement led by the priest Jan Hus of Prague, who was burned at the stake for his teachings. Hus’ beliefs included the authority of scripture over church tradition, the use of scripture and worship in the native language of the people, and presentation of the elements of The Lord’s Supper (bread & cup) to all who believe. Today there 40,000 Moravians in the continental U.S. and over two-thirds of a million Moravians organized within 23 church provinces scattered through the world.
- What do Moravians believe?
We are Christians who believe in the Triune God – Father, Son, & Holy Spirit – as revealed within Holy Scriptures and through the life, death, & resurrection of Jesus Christ. We accept (confess) the historic creeds of the Christian Church, such as the Apostle’s Creed, and practice the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. (For additional customs and practices, see #8 below.)
- Where do Moravians fit in history and geography?
We are referred to as "Moravians" because the roots of our denomination stem from the regions of Moravia and Bohemia in today’s Czech Republic. Those roots began 75-100 years before the traditional Reformation as led by Martin Luther. Our history is one of non-violence, humble fellowship, and mission outreach. Our walk of non-violence has often opened the door to persecution against us, our devotion to fellowship has led others to mistakenly reason that our theological foundations are weak, and our zeal for mission has led us to places other faiths have chosen to avoid. In short, we have not been a people of power or privilege, but of servanthood, outreach, and peace. Today most of our people live in Africa.
- What are some unique Moravian customs and practices?
Holy Communion – While Moravians share open Communion with all Christians who believe that Christ is somehow present in the sacrament, our practice of it is slightly different than many other Christian churches. Our understanding of exactly what occurs within The Lord’s Supper is defined not by Church interpretation or decree, but simply by Jesus’ words. In addition, the distribution of the bread and cup is by the pastor (or elders) bringing the elements to the people in the pews; then we all eat or drink together as a family of equal believers.
Lovefeast – Lovefeast is a community celebration of unity and fellowship marked by food and drink within worship. It serves as a reminder of our history: 1) the mealtime fellowship of the early believers in Acts 2:46, 2) the Aug 13, 1727 revival of the Moravian Church by the Holy Spirit in which personal and doctrinal disputes were set aside for fellowship, and 3) our modern day emphasis on living the Gospel through fellowship.
Moravian Daily Texts – The Daily Text is a small book of daily devotion printed annually since 1727. Several million Christians, including Moravians, use it to begin and/or end each day. Each week begins with a Watchword text. Each day is marked by two complementing scriptural texts. What perhaps makes the Daily Text so unique and valuable, is the inclusion of a hymn stanza in response to each scriptural text. A short prayer concludes the readings by bringing together the Watchword, scripture readings, and hymn responses in plain everyday language.
Readings for Holy Week – Throughout Holy Week – that is the period from Palm Sunday through Easter – we gather each day (usually @ 7pm) to read the Gospel passages for that day and to sing hymns that further develop the focus of the passages. These gatherings are relatively informal and usually short in duration. The pastor may lead the gathering, but all people are invited to participate by in turn reading a short section of the Holy Week Story. There is no sermon or liturgy – the scriptures and hymns alone tell the story.
Unity Prayer Watch – The people of the Moravian Church are constantly praying - literally. Moravian congregations around the world take turns carrying the assignment of having at least one member in prayer at all times. What an opportunity to be one link in an endless chain of prayer!
Singstundes – A Singstunde is a worship service formed around scripture readings and hymns. No sermon or formal liturgy is included. As people based in scripture and music, generations of Moravians have found this alternative form of worship to be both uplifting and enjoyable.
- Why consider joining us?
We recognize that you can hear the word of God in many places, on radio or TV, or even at home alone by reading the Bible. In addition, there are various other denominations eager to tell you their particular definition of the faith. At the Moravian Church, we attempt to minimize “doctrinal spin” while maximizing a simple life of faith in action through the building of relationships – that is, loving relationships with God in Christ and with our neighbor – people like you. We strive to live our motto: In Essentials – Unity; in nonessentials – Liberty; and in All Things – Love.
Our focus is not merely on ourselves or maintaining the status quo. We seek to act as the hands and feet of Christ in our community by doing as Christ did – making a positive difference in a world that could use some help – and growing closer to God in doing it. If this focus on a life of fellowship and service interests you, we would be thrilled to build such a relationship with you beginning today.